Company Spotlight: Jayco

With access to over 35 million acres of public land, including nine national forests, nearly 80% of Idaho residents participate in outdoor recreation each year, making it the perfect testing ground for companies like 50-year-old recreation vehicle manufacturer, Jayco.

Jayco, a division of Thor Industries, has a portfolio that includes single and double axel camping trailers, toy haulers, fifth-wheel travel trailers and motor homes. Their Idaho manufacturing facility in Twin Falls focuses primarily on small to medium-sized conventional travel trailers.

“Everything is built by hand at this facility,” said Troy Preuit, director of manufacturing in Idaho. “There are no robots, no machines – it’s all humans.”

The 240,000 square foot facility in Twin Falls is a far cry from the chicken barn where Jayco founders Lloyd and Bertha Bontrager built the prototype for their first fold-down campers. What started as a small family business has now grown to approximately 4,000 employees with nearly 250 of those employees in Idaho. Despite the growth however, Jayco has stayed in the family.

“Jayco was a family-owned company for the first 48 years of its existence, and members of that family are still heavily involved with the business today.” said Troy. “With the Bontrager family there is a level of commitment to both the employees and customers that I feel sets us apart from other manufacturers in our market.”

In 1970, Jayco offered the first camping trailer with a new axle-independent suspension that provided a smoother ride and easier towing. Since then, their products have continued to advance.

“People expect an RV to be very much like their house,” said Troy. “Similar to the changes we see in home amenities, the connectivity and amount of electronics in these trailers is continually evolving. Even the smallest units are capable of having TVs, stereos, DVD players and USB ports.”

In Twin Falls, those amenities are installed as part of a larger-than-life assembly line where trailers start as a steel frame and move through the manufacturing facility to be walled, wired, sided and customized, churning out up to 30 trailers each day.

“The most important thing for people to understand locally is that we’re different from the rest of the manufacturers in this area,” said Troy. “We have one shift, Monday through Friday, and it’s all built by hand. It’s a fast-paced, focused environment in a very unique industry.”

While Jayco’s Idaho plant is different from other manufacturers in the area, it’s essentially a duplicate of Jayco’s Indiana facility.

“Many RV manufacturers have a presence in the west because the shipment of an RV is very expensive – one truck, one trailer,” explains Troy. “Having a presence in the west allows us to get our product to western dealers and Canada quickly and be more competitive on price.”

Although Jayco runs year-round, the increase in cooler packing and sunscreen purchases around the country is a good indicator their peak sales season is just beginning, and with hundreds of campsites around the state, there’s bound to be a Jayco rolling into an RV spot near you.

To learn more about Jayco or to locate a dealer, visit https://www.jayco.com.

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Company Spotlight: Muscle Donut

A face full of donuts isn’t the secret weapon of a professional athlete. Lean muscles aren’t built from high fat, high sugar, highly-processed foods. For fitness competitor Jackie Melesio, that was a problem.

“I’ve always been into fitness and I’ve always loved donuts,” said Jackie. “When I started doing fitness competitions I realized donuts didn’t fit into my meal plan and it was horrible. I figured there’s got to be a way where you can still eat donuts and be in competition shape. So I started playing in the kitchen with different ingredients to turn a regular recipe into a healthier version.”

Inspired by the necessity of a healthier food without the guilt and discomfort she felt after eating traditional donuts, Jackie invented a “better for you food” now known as Muscle Donut.

“We started with regular donuts made with whole wheat and barley flours, but we saw the demand for gluten free products so we switched to a completely gluten free line and it’s gone great,” said Jackie. “Surprisingly, they actually taste more like a regular donut when they’re gluten free.”

Muscle Donut’s lineup includes flavors like strawberry shortcake, s’mores, Butterfinger caramel and birthday cake. These treats are all natural and free of preservatives, dyes or colors.

“We source our ingredients locally as much as possible because we like to keep our money here and help the local,” said Jackie. “That’s one of the highlights of our products.”

Available for pickup or delivery, the traditional donut isn’t Jackie’s only offering. Protein donut mixes and a protein pancake and waffle mix is also available for purchase with shipping across the United States.

“It’s amazing to me to think that my product is going across the United States,” said Jackie. “It’s crazy to think about and especially now that we’re on Amazon, there’s no limits.”

With only the help of her husband and no prior experience running a business, selling on Amazon and claiming shelf space at local grocers are major milestones for Jackie and the company.

“There’s a lot of work behind the scenes and we’ve done this all by ourselves,” she said. “We had to learn everything from graphic design to how to create your own barcode, to building a website and developing packaging – you name it.”

Jackie emphasizes that life as a small business owner can be a rollercoaster of emotions, but her mission of empowering individuals and families to eat better by providing them with healthy, high quality products, keeps her going. It helps too that she’s operating in one of the most business-friendly states in the country.

“What I love about Idaho is that people are huge supporters of local products,” said Jackie. “Idaho provides an opportunity for people to be in business and offer their products to consumers who really want it.”

Based on Muscle Donut’s growth, the customer do really want it. Satisfy your sweet tooth by following Muscle Donut on Instagram @themuscledonut and visiting their website at www.themuscledonut.com.

 

 

 

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Company Spotlight: Cradlepoint

Most people share the same morning ritual: wake up, roll over, unlock smartphone, tap and scroll. The wireless networks that penetrate nearly every waking moment of society are growing as ubiquitous as ever. Today, consumers expect a connection wherever they go.

“Cellular networks have become very pervasive, very reliable and very fast,” said Todd Krautkremer, chief marketing officer of Cradlepoint. “And that’s why we rely on them more and more in our personal lives, and why they provide tremendous value to business customers.”

Cradlepoint is the home of technology that unlocks the value cellular network capabilities for enterprise and public sector organizations. As the global leader in cloud-delivered LTE and 5G Ready wireless network solutions, Cradlepoint provides its NetCloud service, which includes purpose-built routers, to over 75% of the world’s largest and most prestigious retail brands as well as the top 10 largest U.S. cities and 7 out of the top ten largest police departments. Chances are you’ve crossed paths with a business or public agency today that relies on Cradlepoint without even knowing it.

“We not only create wireless connectivity for brick and mortar sites, but we do it for buses, trucks, police cars, fire trucks, ambulances and even ships,” said Todd. “Here in Boise, the Wi-Fi you get on Valley Transit Authority is connected by Cradlepoint. But not only is there Wi-Fi on metro transit buses, there are point of sale devices for tolls, digital signage, cameras for safety and all of these devices are connected by Cradlepoint over fast and reliable LTE.”

Yes, Cradlepoint’s wireless technology keeps businesses moving seamlessly, but the company’s equipment plays a particularly important role for first responders. Police departments across the nation and around the world, including the Boise Police Department, use Cradlepoint routers in their patrol cars to help keep officers safe while allowing them to be more effective in issuing citations, responding to incidents and processing crime scenes. In San Antonio, the traffic lights are controlled in real time to control the traffic flow, particularly during emergencies. Those lights are connected by Cradlepoint.

There are dozens of emergency service uses for the Cradlepoint technology, but one currently being implemented in Idaho and other states is the connectivity to the the First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet network.

“The impetus for FirstNet was 9/11,” explained Todd. “During that attack and it’s immediate aftermath, all of the frailties of our mission-critical communication networks were immediately exposed and they compromised our ability to respond at a crucial time in our history.”

FirstNet opens a dedicated wireless lane for first responders, providing them with whatever throughput and bandwidth they need to support their mission. Cradlepoint is one of the first companies in the world to provide a FirstNet-ready solutions and the first to provide a gigabit LTE-capable solution that’s FirstNet certified.

“Not only can we connect first responders to the FirstNet network, but we can do it at gigabit-class speeds,” said Todd. “Since coverage can be the difference between life and death, we also enable agencies to use multiple cellular networks to ensure they are always connected, wherever they are.”

Cradlepoint’s mission is to connect people, places and things everywhere leverage LTE and emerging 5G cellular technology. With brand name customers spanning the globe, many are surprised to hear this company isn’t based in Silicon Valley.

“Having such disruptive technology come from a place like Idaho is intriguing for many, including the new generation of leaders that are attracted to brands with grit and authenticity,” said Todd. “They have an affinity for brands they can relate to and they’re rooting for such companies. We think being here is an asset.”

Cradlepoint recently embraced their Idaho roots in a new way, incorporating mountains into the wireless image on their logo.

“It surprises people that there is a really innovative and disruptive company that is literally transforming the way businesses connect people, places and things, changing how first responders can safely carry out their mission, and playing a role in the massive Internet of Things space,” said Todd. “And it’s based right here in Boise, Idaho.”

From enabling emergency response teams and getting business back online quickly during national disasters like Hurricane Harvey, to ensuring non-stop point of sale connectivity in local coffee shops, Idaho is home to the leader in providing wireless edge solutions that unlock the power of 4G LTE and emerging 5G cellular networks for businesses and public sector agencies throughout the world.

To connect more and wire less with Cradlepoint, visit https://cradlepoint.com.

Company Spotlight: SJX Jet Boats

From remote Alaskan waters to typhoon recovery in the Philippines, touring the turquoise shallows of the South Pacific to skimming down the Clearwater in search of steelhead, SJX Jet Boats is making waves across the globe.

“I’ve got a map in my office that’s speckled with pins and marks where we have boats around the world,” said Steve Stajkowski, owner of SJX Jet Boats. “We’ve got tour boats in Fiji clear to Saudi Arabia, Siberian Russia, clear to Mongolia. We’ve done military contracts in Ecuador and throughout South America.”

There’s a reason these Idaho-made aluminum jet boats can be found in every hemisphere: when it comes to shallow water boating, an SJX Jet Boat is a razor blade among butter knives.

“To be specific, they’re an extreme shallow water tunnel hull aluminum jet boat,” said Steve. “The jet is elevated above the bottom plane of the boat which enables the boat to encounter obstacles without interfering with the jet.”

Steve compares this design to having four-wheel drive on the water.  With the ability to navigate on and over debris and obstacles presented in the shallows, SJX Jet Boats are a unique tool for fisherman and rescue teams alike.

“I remember we were in the Philippines with some of our boats training the local authorities,” Steve recalls. “It wasn’t long after that a typhoon hit the Manilla area and one of our boats was deployed. It was credited to over 1,200 individual rescues.”

Although their footprint is undeniable, SJX Jet Boats began in Northern Idaho, far from Southeast Asia. Steve started in the boating industry right out of high school, working for a boat manufacturer on the weekends where he was given the opportunity to be involved in nearly every aspect of jet boat building.

In 2007, SJX Jet Boats was born and now resides in Orofino, Idaho, with highly-coveted water access right across the highway from their manufacturing facility.

“Orofino is a great place to do business,” said Steve. “The county and the city are helpful and responsive. They recognize that we’re bringing jobs to the community.”

Look for Steve and his team test driving jet boats on the Clearwater, introducing inboard tunnel hulls to international companies, or even on television including shows like the Discovery Channel’s “True North Alaska.”

SJX Jet Boats is located at 10110 US-12, Suite A, Orofino, Idaho 83544 or online at www.sjxjetboats.com.

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Company Spotlight: Glanbia

With century-old roots in the Irish dairy co-operative movement, Glanbia focuses on delivering better nutrition for every step of life’s journey. Now, the company that started from small beginnings in Irish agriculture is now a global nutrition company, providing ingredients to top brands in both the food service and retail space, in addition to the largest sports nutrition brand family globally including recent acquisitions of SlimFast and Watson.

What does a global leader in dairy and nutritionals have to do with Idaho? To start, they’ve been here for over 25 years.

“Idaho is the heartbeat of Glanbia Nutritionals operations,” said Glanbia’s Chief Commercial Officer, Cheese, Wilf Costello. “It’s an agriculturally rich state with a quality milk pool, dedicated farmers and a uniquely beautiful community. It’s a great opportunity for an organization like ours.”

With roughly 1,000 employees, Glanbia’s Idaho team makes up more than 14% of the company’s total global workforce. Glanbia operates in 34 countries around the world and ships product to 132 different countries, but Idaho continues to be the key to their production.

“The climate here has proven to be great for the dairy industry,” Wilf said. “We’re consistently the third or fourth performing state for dairy.”

Wilf explains that as the dairy industry continues to grow in the region, Glanbia Nutritionals processes roughly a third of Idaho’s milk production, making them the largest milk processor in Idaho. In fact, they process enough milk each day to fill five Olympic-sized swimming pools.

“We have a specialty whey facility in Richfield and cheese facilities in Twin Falls and Blackfoot,” said Wilf. “We process natural cheese and whey in Gooding and recently invested $85 million in that facility to upgrade it. It was a major milestone for us in Idaho.”

Whey protein continues to be in strong demand as consumer diet choices evolve, but cheese will always be a cut above the rest. Behind the production facilities, Glanbia Nutritionals operates two innovation centers in Twin Falls; one for cheese and one for ingredient solutions that drive new product development.

“The average person consumes between 35-37 pounds of cheese annually in the United States,” Wilf said. “But that number is still significantly below the consumption found in European countries.”

Wilf estimates that based on Glanbia’s Idaho cheese production and the state’s population, every Idaho resident would have to consume about 300 pounds of cheese per year if all production was kept in state. Luckily for Idaho’s average waistline, nearly 90% of Glanbia’s products move outside the state throughout the country, with the remainder going mostly to export markets.

However, there’s one market that remains close to home.

“We have a Cheese Marketplace in Twin Falls that we use as a community touchpoint,” Wilf said. “We use it for demonstrations and people can buy Glanbia cheese there directly. The pepper cheeses are my go-to favorites. They’ve won several awards and I don’t think anyone does as nice a job as we do on pepper cheeses.”

Glanbia is no stranger to awards for pepper cheese and more. The company participates in the annual U.S. and World Cheese Championships where they’ve taken home more than 150 awards in their lifetime, winning 18 this year alone.

No matter how ubiquitous Glanbia products become, Wilf emphasizes that they’ll continue to be in Idaho for many years.

“In Idaho, a handshake is still a handshake, and that means a lot to us,” he said.

Learn more about Glanbia at https://www.glanbia.com, and try a cube, a curd or a brick of their cheese at the Glanbia Cheese Marketplace, 131 Main Ave East, Twin Falls, Idaho 83301.

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Company Spotlight: Killer Creamery

Chilla in Vanilla. That was the heavyweight boxing championship in 1975, right?

Wrong.

Alongside Peanut Blubber, Caramels Back, No Judge Mint and Jam Session, Chilla in Vanilla is one of Killer Creamery’s delectable keto ice cream flavors.

“It’s ice cream, so it’s got to taste good,” said Louis Armstrong, owner of Killer Creamery. “All of our effort is built around creating a product that tastes amazing but cuts out all the guilt and takes away the excess sugar, while giving you something that’s healthy and valuable.”

For Louis, a food scientist who indulges in moderation, creating a healthy ice cream alternative came out of a need to satisfy his sweet tooth.

“I was inspired by a lack of choices,” he said. “After a workout, I’d get an ice cream sandwich and think, ‘Why can’t this have protein in it? Why does it have so much sugar?’”

Killer Creamery, which began as a protein ice cream company called Killer Whey, makes their keto ice cream with zero added sugar and all the actual fat, giving it the flavor and dense, creamy texture consumers crave.

“We have a ton of cream in our product,” said Louis. “Cream and MCT oil are our main fat sources. The MCT oil comes from coconut and is a popular fat source for people doing a low-carb or keto diet.”

Louis’ ice cream recipe came at the perfect time, catering to a large population focused on replacing traditional treats with healthier options. But Louis also feels his company is in the perfect place, geographically speaking.

“With Idaho being a dairy state, I’m able to get cream and milk powders easily,” he said. “And if we ever expand more, it’s a great place to build a manufacturing plant at scale. The cost and regulatory environment make it friendlier than other states.”

Having just moved into a new production facility off Eagle Road in Boise, Louis doesn’t have his eyes set on large-scale manufacturing just yet. His ice cream is still hand-scooped and packaged for shelves in Albertsons, WinCo, the Boise Co-Op, Safeway and for customers across the country.

“We aren’t a huge company, but we’ve put a lot of work in,” said Louis. “People see our brand in stores and think we’re big and successful, but we’re just a small family-owned business with a couple of employees having fun with ice cream.”

Learn more about Killer Creamery at their home on the web, https://killercreamery.com/ and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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Company Spotlight: Kount

According to Brad Wiskirchen’s 12-year-old son, dad’s job is to catch bad guys on the internet.

“What we really do is give companies the data they need to make sure they’re dealing with a verified person during digital interactions,” said Brad, the CEO of Kount.

The patented technology Kount uses was originally developed at another Idaho-based powerhouse, ClickBank, where Brad previously served as CEO.

“ClickBank grew up in the sale and distribution of digital goods,” explained Brad. “We invented and patented the technology to protect our own merchant accounts and over time we realized the technology would be something that would greatly benefit others. So, we interviewed the top 100 internet retailers in the world to find out what they’d like in a fraud control solution and we built it.”

Kount CEO Brad Wiskirchen

Now, Kount’s award-winning fraud management, identity verification and online authentication technology empowers digital businesses, online merchants and payment service providers to make better business decisions through data.

“We protect 6,500 merchants around the world and do transactions in over 180 countries on any given day,” said Brad. “We protect the largest payment processors and acquiring banks on earth and provide fraud control services for companies like Chase Paymentech, Moneris, BlueSnap, and PayPal’s Braintree.”

One might think that Brad’s primary source of pride comes from protecting large industry names such as Staples, Dunkin’, BodyBuilding.com, BP, PetSmart, Intuit, and Wendy’s, just to name a few. But what he’s most proud of is the family environment Kount’s maintained throughout its pattern of continued growth. Brad emphasizes that while most people will undoubtedly rally behind a morally compelling value proposition, the true test of a company is how much the employees care about each other.

“One of the metrics that matters most to me is time spent with fellow team members after hours,” said Brad. “I find a great deal of pride in the fact that the team goes together to play softball or train all summer to hike the tallest peaks in Idaho or go bowling. They engage in any number of things together outside of work hours and its meaningful stuff. It’s proof that the people around here fundamentally care about each other and each other’s families.”

Brad understands that the bonds developed beyond the office walls helps enable his employees to be hyper-effective. That’s part of the reason the company focuses on opportunities to give back through community service projects with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, the Idaho Foodbank and various cleanup programs.

“We do service projects nearly every other month,” said Brad. “It makes us think beyond ourselves and beyond our company and recognize how incredibly lucky we are to work in a place like this, and how remarkable our community is.”

The Kount team, cultivated from that remarkable community, is comprised of quality employees dedicated to long term careers. Their relationships with their coworkers and community enable them to perform better than anyone else in the industry.

“No matter what challenge we face – be it a competitive challenge, a technology challenge, or whatever else – if you sit the Kount team in a room for even an hour, we can find a solution,” said Brad. “I know no matter what we face we’re going to find the answer.”

Kount is located at 1005 W Main St, Boise, Idaho, 83702 or at www.kount.com.

Company Spotlight: Mountain Valley Farmstead

Nestled between sloping mountains in the Salmon River Valley lie 20 acres of land peppered with over 100 four-legged cotton balls, grazing and enjoying the sun. Now and again their mornings are interrupted when they’re led to a barn to be milked by Randal or Carol Stoker, who make artisan sheep cheese at Mountain Valley Farmstead in Carmen, Idaho.

“We have a niche because sheep have a very flavorful and nutritious milk,” said Carol.

Compared to cow or goat milk, sheep milk typically contains three times the protein, more vitamins and minerals, and a complete set of amino acids. But there are three primary reasons Mountain Valley Farmstead customers keep coming back: Manchego, gouda and pecorino.

“Our favorite is the Carmen Carrano,” said Randal. “It’s our biggest seller.”

Named after Carol, Randal and their home base, Carmen Carrano is a Manchego-style cheese that ages for a minimum of six months. Mountain Gem is their gouda-style cheese that ages for three months and has a milder, slightly sweeter taste. Mountain Valley’s newest addition to the lineup, Pecorino Idaho, is a firmer, Pecorino Romano-style cheese that ages for nine months and is typically used for grating.

“We know that sheep cheese is very unique,” said Randal. “The Europeans have been milking and making sheep cheese products for centuries and the United States is just now starting to discover them.”

Europe is where Carol and Randal found their original inspiration for the farmstead.

“We went to Italy and tasted sheep cheese and decided there wasn’t enough of it in the United States,” said Randal. “When we got home, we started touring dairies and realized this business was what we really wanted to do.”

The Stokers’ lives have now come to revolve around Mountain Valley Farmstead. They live in an apartment in a barn surrounded by mountains. That same barn is used for lambing, milking and cheese-making. It’s where Carol and Randal watch over their flock.

Their small production footprint is important to the Stokers whose goal is to stay small with very little environmental impact.

“We would just like to become the favorite of the area and throughout the state,” said Randal.

As their artisan sheep cheese continues to stampede through farmer’s markets and grocery stores, the Stokers’ goal of being an Idaho favorite isn’t far-fetched.

Visit Mountain Valley Farmstead at 7 Macnab Lane, Carmen, Idaho, 83462, on their Facebook page or at their home on the web, www.mountainvalleyfarmstead.com.

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Company Spotlight: Mother Earth Brew Co.

“Living the dream” has become a go-to conversational response for adults across the nation, but how many can say they’re actually doing so? For Dan Love, owner of Mother Earth Brew Co. in Nampa, Idaho, the answer is a little complicated.

“I can’t say I’m living my dream because I never dreamed I would do this,” said Dan. “But what I can say is that when people ask me what my dream would be, I tell them that I wake up every morning and go to my dream job.”

Since 2010, Dan has led the charge in growing Mother Earth from a home brew store, brewery and tasting room packed into 2,000 square feet, to two large breweries in two states.

“We distribute in 17 states and six countries: Japan, Korea, England, Norway, Holland and Finland,” said Dan. “Boo Koo was even the number one IPA in Korea in 2016.”

With thousands of beers to choose from on a global scale, Dan emphasizes that Mother Earth continues to grow because it’s just plain better beer.

“I don’t say that to show off,” said Dan. “But we have a process that a lot of breweries don’t have. My head brewer is a Master Chemist and a Master of Brewing Science. We have a laboratory and we make sure the beer never tastes different than the last batch that went out.”

Dan picked the perfect location to create batches of brew; no Idaho fridge is complete without a good craft beer. According the Brewer’s Association, Idaho has more than 4.5 breweries per capita* and produces over 90,000 barrels of craft beer each year.

Not only is Idaho working its way up the ranks in beer consumption, but Dan said Idaho’s workforce is the cream of the crop.

“Idaho’s children are raised differently,” said Dan. “You can tell because people here in Idaho don’t get in trouble. They just expect to work hard and be paid fairly. It’s very refreshing.”

Dan’s beer is as refreshing as his employees. So much so that Treefort Music Fest tapped into Mother Earth to create their 2019 official beer: a pale ale called Timber Giant. A local music festival deserves an attention-grabbing local bear.

But is Mother Earth local?

“People confuse local with native,” said Dan. “Mother Earth Brew Co. is never going to be a native Idahoan company, but we’re definitely local. We’ve invested $4 million into our brewery floor in Nampa to create jobs. We have a 30 year lease. We’re here for good.”

Visit local craft beer company, Mother Earth Brew Co., in their brewery and tasting room at 1428 Madison Avenue, Nampa, Idaho 83687 and at www.motherearthbrewco.com.

*per 100,000 adults over age 21

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Company Spotlight: House of Design

House of Design based in Nampa, Idaho, isn’t what you think. Sure, their office space is on trend with exposed cement details, dry erase walls, bright white interiors and bold accessories, but their accessories aren’t trinkets for a coffee table; they’re robots.

“We are a robotics systems integrator,” said Shane Dittrich, principal and CEO of House of Design. “The easiest way to understand that is to think of an automotive plant with robots on the line building cars. We are the ones who take the robots and implement them into manufacturing processes.”

House of Design Corporate Officers Monica and Ryan Okelberry and Shane and April Dittrich

Since its inception in 2012, House of Design has focused on the use of industrial ABB robots as a commodity to improve manufacturing processes.

“We develop the process, we do all of the mechanical engineering, all of the electrical engineering, all the programming, all the assembly, all the tests in our facility and then we package it up and ship it to our customer,” said Shane. “But we don’t build robots from scratch.”

The robotic systems developed at House of Design range from small robots moving cameras, to robots lacing shoes, to complete systems enabled to construct building materials.

“This business is very risky because we automate, design and build things that have never been done before, and every single time it’s different,” said Shane. “But that’s what our engineers love. They work on something different every day.”

Maintaining a progressive, forward-thinking mindset is what drives success at House of Design. That mentality led the company to be awarded an Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) grant of $162,000 for their partnership with Idaho State University and Ph.D. student Omid Heidari.

According to IGEM Program Manager Carmen Achabal, the program benefits Idaho industries by solving business challenges and acting as a catalyst for new, viable technologies that give businesses an edge in their respective industries.

“House of Design has an exceptional reputation of innovation in solving customer problems,” said Carmen. “This project’s success will result in expanded product offerings and a cutting-edge learning experience for staff and students.”

Shane explains that with the help of the IGEM grant, House of Design and Omid are developing augmented reality that allows customers to walk up to their robotics system and identify different issues and overall equipment effectiveness through augmented reality glasses or the use of a HoloLens.

“Once we develop a simple system, it’s deployed into our customer’s environment and because we’re remote, troubleshooting and maintenance can get complicated,” explained Shane. “This is a new way for us to help our customers manage that process.”

It’s important to note that no matter how sophisticated the product offering from House of Design becomes, robots aren’t taking over the world or workforce.

“When an automated system gets deployed, people are afraid it’s taking jobs,” said Shane. “But if you look, it creates more technical maintenance jobs, it creates more technical operators, it creates the ability for that company to grow in other areas like sales and marketing. Even if robots build other robots, humans still have to show them how to build robots.”

After creating nearly 50 jobs in the valley with more to come, Shane emphasizes it will always be all about the people.

Visit House of Design at 16141 N 20th Street, Nampa, Idaho 83687 or at https://thehouseofdesign.com.